Airline Flybe Has Collapsed Into Administration
Flybe has officially collapsed into administration.
All flights for Europe's biggest regional airline have been cancelled, leaving tens of thousands of passengers in the lurch and thousands more staff with an uncertain future.
The UK Civil Aviation Authority confirmed the news in a message, which said: "All Flybe flights are cancelled. Please do not go to the airport as your Flybe flight will not be operating. For flights operated by franchise partners, passengers should make contact with their airline."
According to the BBC, the airline had been hit hard by the coronavirus, with many people avoiding travelling because of the disease outbreak across parts of Europe.
People with bookings on Flybe have been told not to come to the airport as there won't be re-routed flights.
In a letter to the airline's staff, chief executive Mark Anderson said: "Despite every effort, we now have no alternative - having failed to find a feasible solution to allow us to keep trading.
"I am very sorry that we have not been able to secure the funding needed to continue to deliver our turnaround."
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In another kick in the teeth, some people won't get their money back as financial administration isn't covered in some travel insurance policies, according to consumer group Which?
The group's travel editor Rory Boland told the BBC: "Many popular travel insurance policies do not have cover for airlines going into administration, so many travellers may find they are not covered."
If you booked via a credit or debit cards might be able to lodge a refund application.
Flybe was bought last year from a consortium that included Virgin Atlantic, who was hoping to revitalise the business and bring it back from the dead. Around £100 million was injected into the airliner, thanks to Virgin, Stobart Group and the US hedge fund Cyrus Capital.
But still Flybe struggled to make enough money to keep it alive, with the consortium even requesting a loan from the government. There was also an application to defer paying their Air Passenger Duty.
Air transport expert John Strickland told the BBC it's not a surprise for the airline to go bust but it will have big flow-on effects for people in regional areas.
"The airline has struggled for a number of years, it's really too big for what it's trying to do," he said.
"It's small in the scale of the UK market as a whole, but if you're flying out of Exeter, Newquay or specifically Southampton it really is one of the only airline choices, indeed in Southampton it accounts for about 95 per cent of the activity at that airport, so a number of regional groups will risk not being served."
Featured Image Credit: PA